Assortment Management comprises several functions and activities, such as creating assortments, and executing the article listing. An important aspect for many retailers is the implementation of shelf optimization tools, which is supported in SAP Retail through the Layout Workbench. Finally, the article data has to be provided to the individual store systems (POS), usually through the assortment list function.
Assortment Management is a key application in SAP Retail, which is used to assign articles to sites by creating the relevant article listing conditions in the assortment(s) of a site. Assortments can be connected with layout data, which are used to define the exact placement of articles in the retailer’s stores.
When you create a site (that is, a store or distribution center), the system automatically creates a local assortment exclusively for this site in the background. This local assortment is site-specific and cannot be assigned to another site. Each site has one local assortment.
These assortments are of category A for stores, and of category B for distribution centers. The technical key of these local assortments is the same as the customer number of the respective site.
General assortments of category C can be assigned to any number of (SD) customers, and there can also be several assignments per sales area. You can also assign general assortments to any number of stores and distribution centers if you have selected the multiple assignment indicator in Customizing.
Advantage of using general assortments for sites:
Assortments can be defined, which are valid for groups of sites, for example, to reflect regional or seasonal assortments. Moreover, when new sites are created, they only have to be assigned to the relevant assortments in order to define their range of available products. Furthermore, as a side-effect, the number of article listing conditions in the system can be reduced a lot compared to using local assortments only.
General assortments can be created manually in the SAP Retail system, or created in the planning tool, based on algorithms for store clustering according to multiple attributes - for example, sales history, margin, revenue. Customer-specific attributes can be used as well.
As soon as a planned, general assortment or its dependent objects are released in planning, general assortments, along with layout modules, can be created automatically in SAP Retail via interface, based on customizing settings.
Assignments of stores (sites) to general assortments (assortment users) are also copied from planning.
You can also already assign articles to the layout module versions (these are explained further below) in planning. This requires that article data is available and complete at an early stage, which is usually the case for merchandise, which can be replenished regularly.
In the assortment maintenance transactions (create/change/display assortment), you can assign merchandise categories and assortment grades, layout data, or an article hierarchy with the relevant hierarchy node. The validity period and the distribution chain are mandatory assignments.
You can also assign assortment users to general assortments in assortment maintenance.
Additionally, a user-friendly assortment assignment tool is available for this purpose. The system displays two tree structures: a list of the selected general assortments with their already assigned sites on the left, and a list of sites for which assignments are still possible on the right. You can sort the displayed sites, for example, by region, by sites not yet assigned, or by new sites. The selected sites are assigned to the desired assortment using drag and drop. However, you can only assign sites in the assortment assignment tool; customers are assigned in the assortment maintenance transactions (create/change assortment) only. Sites can be assigned in both.
You can also branch to the assortment maintenance transactions (create/change/display assortment) from the assortment assignment tool.